More people will use buses under free public transport initiative, says Ian Borg

80,000 people are already benefitting from free public transport without the new initiative

Transport Minister Ian Borg asserted that more people will make use of Malta’s transport system once it starts being offered free-of-charge next October.

During parliamentary questions, Ian Borg fielded questions from the Opposition on a new measure announced yesterday that will see public transport offered for free to residents of Malta and Gozo.

“Local and international studies indicated that a new bracket of people is reached when public transport is offered for free,” Borg said. “However, this doesn’t mean that everyone will drop their car to use free public transport."

He was responding to a question on how many more people are expected to use public transport under the new initiative, and whether the existing bus fleet will widen to create more frequent bus routes.

The minister mentioned that 80,000 people already benefit from free use of public transport, and that government wanted to “award” those already using and paying for public transport.

However, he didn't specify how many more people will be benefitting from the new scheme, or whether bus routes will be made more frequent.

“I consider this more of an environmental measure than a transport one,” he remarked.

Malta is set to become the second EU country to introduce free public transport for all residents in possession of a Tal-Linja card.

As announced during the Budget 2022, this initiative is slated to come into effect in October 2022.

READ ALSO: Budget 2022 | Free public transport as from October 2022